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from Bloody Quory, Deerness, Orkney

Postcard of Macehead.
© National Museums Scotland


A mace was a ceremonial weapon. This stone macehead of polished granite was found at Bloody Quoy at Deerness in Orkney. It was a prestige item, used to display status, sometime between 3100 and 1800 BC.

The upper and lower surface and the sides of the macehead have been polished, highlighting the veined structure of the stone. The ends have been left rough.

Stone maceheads were used as prestige items - symbols of power and, possibly, of rank - for several centuries. They were often made from attractive rocks, and rarely show signs of use.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-033-040-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.AH 89
Date: Between 3100 and 1800 BC
Material: Granite; with haft hole bored through the flat face; abraded at each end; polished
Dimensions: 4.69" x 2.00"
What: Mace head
Where: Scotland, Orkney, St Andrews and Deerness, Bloody Quory
Description: Mace head of polished granite, cushion type, from Bloody Quory, Deerness, Orkney
  • Clarke, D.V., Cowie, T.G., & Foxon, Andrew (eds). Symbols of power at the time of Stonehenge. Edinburgh: National Museums of Antiquities of Scotland, 1985, pp 256-7. 
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